$5 Million Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Announces 2016 Conservation Grants

Matching-Fund Grants Protect Sensitive Bottomland Forests in NC, VA 

BETHESDA, Md. & GREENVILLE, S.C. — May 26, 2015 – The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (the “Fund”), a $5 million, 10-year program designed to protect tens of thousands of acres of bottomland forests in northeast North Carolina and southeast Virginia, today announced the recipients of its 2016 grants.

“We are very pleased to be working with our friends at The Nature Conservancy, Triangle Land Conservancy and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, who will join with the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund to preserve thousands of acres of high conservation value forestland,” said John Keppler, Chairman and CEO of Enviva. “Enviva has always believed there are special places in the forest that should remain so. This year’s inaugural grants from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund enable leading environmental organizations to protect those special places through forest stewardship, conservation, preservation and the promotion of sustainable harvesting.”

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, established by Enviva Holdings, LP (“Enviva”), and administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the “Endowment”), is awarding $500,000 in 2016 to preservation and conservation programs that span more than 2,000 acres of environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests in North Carolina and Virginia. The 2016 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund matching-fund grant recipients are:

  • The Nature Conservancy North Carolina Chapter, to assist with acquisition of 1,294 acres of forested wetland in the floodplain of the Roanoke River, Washington County, North Carolina. The property will be protected as part of The Nature Conservancy’s Roanoke River Preserve and includes extensive stands of cypress-tupelo and Atlantic white cedar forests;
  • The Triangle Land Conservancy, to help finance purchase of a permanent conservation easement on 127 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, uplands, and lake area near Raleigh, North Carolina. The lake and wetlands on the property help filter water flowing into the Neuse River, the drinking water source for the Town of Clayton and Johnston County;
  • The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, to assist with acquisition of 385 acres of hardwood bottomland, cypress-tupelo swamps and 2.6 miles of frontage along the State Scenic Nottoway River in Southampton County, Virginia. Conserving this land will provide water quality enhancement and flood storage capacity, and support a myriad of threatened and endangered flora and fauna; and
  • The Nature Conservancy Virginia Chapter, to finance a conservation easement donation of a 408-acre floodplain tract along the Meherrin River, Southampton County, Virginia. This project blends working forest uses with limited harvest designations to maintain health and condition of floodplain forest communities.

“The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund’s grant will help ensure Virginia’s forests continue to harbor wildlife, support recreation and forestry, and clean the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Michael Lipford, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy Virginia Chapter. “The Nature Conservancy is pleased by Enviva’s commitment to conserve sensitive areas that help maintain the health, condition and sustainability of floodplain forests in southeast Virginia.”

The grant recipients were selected from a pool of high-quality applications submitted by local, state and national conservation organizations committed to protecting forests and environmentally sensitive areas in the Virginia-North Carolina coastal plain, an area that is home to three wood pellet production facilities and a deep-water marine terminal owned by Enviva. Applications were evaluated by the Endowment based on a number of factors, including the ecological quality of the property, potential threats to the property’s integrity, its associated conservation values and links to other conservation areas.

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund focuses on about 35 North Carolina and Virginia counties that include approximately 6 million acres of forests of all types. Of this total, about 20 percent are bottomland forests – low-lying, marshy areas near rivers and streams that are home to tree species such as cypress, gum and oak. Most of this is working forestland where harvest is recommended. Although less than 15 percent of Enviva’s wood supply in the region comes from bottomland forests, the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund targets sensitive bottomland areas because they offer a wide range of environmental and economic benefits. Many of them also face the threat of conversion to other uses.

“The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund aims to be a catalyst that will attract other conservation investments to the region, particularly to the bottomlands of the Albemarle Sound drainage basin along the Roanoke, Chowan, Meherrin, Nottoway and Blackwater rivers,” said Carlton N. Owen, president and CEO of the Endowment. “We received applications from best-in-class conservation organizations and are excited about the environmental and economic benefits our first round of grants will provide for communities throughout North Carolina and Virginia.”

Along with the 2016 grants, the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is sponsoring two additional initiatives that protect the region’s forests and environmentally sensitive areas:

  • In consultation with leading academic and environmental organizations, the Endowment has identified four specific bottomland forest ecosystems that will be priority conservation targets – cypress-tupelo swamps, Atlantic white cedar stands, pocosins and Carolina bays. Enviva does not take wood from these sensitive areas and is working with its suppliers and landowners to preserve them.
  • The Endowment has empaneled a multi-stakeholder panel to develop enhanced, science-based forestry practices for working bottomland forests, building on the generations-old tradition of sustainable forestry there. This “blue-ribbon committee” is developing specific measures to protect these areas, which Enviva intends to incorporate in its supply practices.

“The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is an important pillar in Enviva’s commitment to sustainability, but it is just one part of our company’s mission to improve the environmental conditions in the communities we serve,” Keppler said. “We maintain forest sustainability certifications at every level of our production process. We are developing a proprietary ‘track and trace’ system that will enable us to identify the source of every truckload of wood we use. And our overarching goal is to displace coal with a fuel that can reduce lifetime greenhouse gas emissions. Enviva works every day to ensure sustainable use and protection of our resources.”

Please see the attached addendum for additional information regarding the 2016 grant recipients.

For more information on the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund visit www.envivaforestfund.org.

 

About Enviva Holdings, LP

Enviva Holdings, LP is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, a renewable and sustainable energy source used to generate electricity and heat. Through its subsidiaries, Enviva Holdings, LP owns and operates six plants in the southeastern United States that produce about 2.3 million metric tons of wood pellets annually. We export our pellets primarily to power plants in the United Kingdom and Europe that previously were fueled by coal, enabling them to reduce their lifetime carbon footprint by about 80 percent. We make our pellets using sustainable practices that protect Southern forests. And we employ about 600 people and support many other businesses in the rural South, where jobs and economic opportunity are sometimes scarce.

Enviva Holdings, LP conducts its activities primarily through two entities: Enviva Partners, LP, a publicly-traded master limited partnership (NYSE: EVA), and Enviva Development Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned private company.

To learn more about Enviva Holdings, LP and its subsidiaries, please visit our website at www.envivabiomass.com.

 

About The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

The Endowment is a not-for-profit corporation established in 2006 at the request of the governments of the United States and Canada. The Endowment works collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities.

To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.

 

$5 Million Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Announces 2016 Conservation Grants

Addendum

The Nature Conservancy North Carolina Chapter

Roanoke River Preserve

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is providing $195,000 to The Nature Conservancy North Carolina Chapter, to help with the fee-simple acquisition of 1,294 acres of forested wetland in the floodplain of the Roanoke River, Washington County, North Carolina. The property will be protected as part of The Nature Conservancy’s Roanoke River Preserve and includes extensive stands of cypress-tupelo and Atlantic white cedar forests.

“The Nature Conservancy’s Roanoke River Project began in 1982 to help conserve important forested wetlands in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina and Virginia. Since then, we and our partners have helped protect more than 94,000 acres of conservation land in the Lower Roanoke River. The Conservancy engages river communities to promote sustainable and compatible uses in this area, such as publicly accessible camping platforms. Support from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will help the Conservancy add important new lands to the Roanoke River Project with large expanses of cypress-tupelo swamps and stands of Atlantic white cedar.”

– Katherine D. Skinner, Executive Director

The Nature Conservancy North Carolina Chapter

 

Triangle Land Conservancy, Raleigh, N.C.

Beaverdam Lake Easement

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is providing $100,000 to the Triangle Land Conservancy to help finance purchase of a permanent conservation easement on 127 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, uplands, and lake area adjacent to Neuse River Conservation Lands in Wake County, North Carolina. The property is a priority for the Neuse River Corridor Plan and the Capital Area Greenway. The lake and wetlands on the property help filter water flowing into the Neuse River, the drinking water source for the Town of Clayton and Johnston County.

“Conserving forests in the Raleigh area is important. In doing so, we will maintain open space, protect wildlife habitats and filter the region’s drinking water. With the generous support of the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, Triangle Land Conservancy will be able to permanently protect priority lands identified for both the Neuse River Corridor Plan and the Capital Area Greenway Plan. We are excited by the opportunity to leverage our efforts and resources with support from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund to further protect forested ecosystems in the Raleigh area, one of the fastest growing regions in the South.”

– Sandy Sweitzer, Executive Director

Triangle Land Conservancy

 

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Lower Nottoway River Project

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is providing $175,000 to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for acquisition of 385 acres of hardwood bottomland, cypress-tupelo swamps, and 2.6 miles of frontage along the State Scenic Nottoway River in Southampton County, Virginia. This land is near existing Department of Conservation and Recreation projects and will augment protection of the existing Cypress Bridge Natural Area Preserve. Conserving this land will also protect the State Scenic Nottoway River, provide water quality enhancement and flood storage capacity, and support the myriad of threatened and endangered flora and fauna that call this river home.

“In advancing our mission to conserve the Commonwealth’s unique natural and cultural resources, we’ve successfully protected 63 Natural Area Preserves (NAP) totaling nearly 56,000 acres across the state. Our partnership with the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will allow us to conserve another key property along the State Scenic Nottoway River, protecting more ecologic and scenic resources, and helping to build a legacy for future generations in southeast Virginia.”

– Clyde Cristman, Director

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

 

The Nature Conservancy Virginia Chapter

Meherrin River Easement

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is providing $30,000 to The Nature Conservancy Virginia Chapter, to finance a conservation easement donation of a 408-acre floodplain tract along the Meherrin River, Southampton County, Virginia. This project blends working forest uses with limited harvest designations to maintain health and condition of floodplain forest communities.

“The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund’s grant will help ensure Virginia’s forests continue to harbor wildlife, support recreation and forestry, and clean the air we breathe and the water we drink. The Nature Conservancy is pleased by Enviva’s commitment to conserve sensitive areas that help maintain the health, condition and sustainability of floodplain forests in southeast Virginia.”

– Michael Lipford, Executive Director

The Nature Conservancy Virginia Chapter

Additional details about the specific projects being funded will be released as negotiations are finalized and contractual agreements are closed. Anticipated project closings are as follows: Triangle Land Conservancy, North Carolina (Summer 2016); TNC North Carolina (Fall 2016); TNC Virginia (Winter 2016); and Virginia Department of Conservation (Spring 2017).

 

Contacts

Enviva:

media@envivabiomass.com

301-657-5560

or

U.S. Endowment:

Carlton Owen

President and CEO

864-233-7646

carlton@usendowment.org